Prolonged shortened sleep increases blood pressure

16 March 2015

A new study has found that shortened sleep can have an impact on blood pressure during the night.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic will present their findings at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session. 

The team conducted a small study with eight healthy, normal weight participants between the age of 19 and 36. Each took part in a 16-day inpatient protocol, consisting of a four-day acclimation period followed by nine days of either four-hour sleep restriction during the night or normal sleep lasting nine hours. This ended with three days of recovery.

The participants checked blood pressure 24 times at regular intervals during each study phase. During the sleep restriction phase compared to the normal sleep phase, systolic and diastolic blood pressure averaged 115/64 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) versus 105/57 mm Hg, respectively. 

Lead author Dr Naima Covassin, Mayo Clinic cardiovascular diseases research fellow, said: "For the first time, we demonstrated that insufficient sleep causes increases in nighttime blood pressure and dampens nocturnal blood pressure dipping by using a controlled study that mimics the sleep loss experienced by many people".

Posted by Phillip Briggs

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